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  1. #1
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    My submission for the SuBuWriMo: A tournament that takes place in a gigantic dome.

    Prologue


    The dome was the most magnificent one ever built. It rose into the clouds, and was as big as a city. Quite unnecessary, but Bartlet Kane, the strongest female trainer alive, liked to set the standard higher than anyone thought possible. She was the most expressive person ever, and the one who set up this tournament.

    It wasn’t for any particular reason but greed. A dome, an astonishing event, it’s own television channel, and every other attraction possible was within the dome itself. People from all over the globe flooded into the desert where it was built, and stayed in the Kane Dome Hotel, while others had to pay for the television channel, The KD Network.

    The tournament itself was just a highlight, and the participants were just characters; the real attraction was the dome, and the only star was Bartlet.

    Table of Content & Word Count
    Prologue: 145
    Chapter 1: 1211
    Chapter 2: 1116
    Chapter 3: 1041
    Chapter 4: 1554
    Chapter 5: 1054
    Chapter 6: 1117
    Chapter 7: 1006
    Chapter 8: 1159
    Chapter 9: 1101
    Total: 10504
    Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 29th June 2011 at 06:07 PM.

  2. #2
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 1


    Russell gasped in awe when he entered his hotel room.

    The room was bigger than any other he had ever been in. The curtains were white, and covered a window that looked out onto the Kane Safari Zone, where trainers could be seen catching Pokémon, and running after other Pokémon who were fleeing; the entire wall opposite the large bed was a television, with thousands of channels from all over the world, and The KD Network in over a hundred languages; and the bathroom was half the size of the room, and contained a swimming pool with two settings: Human and Pokémon. But the most breath-taking feature for Russell was the training room.

    It was a large arena that connected to the bedroom through an elevator, and was set on top of the room. The area was divided into Forest, Field, Pond, Mountain, and Sea. Other rooms’ elevators also connected to it, but each one had a fingerprint pad, which only allowed the occupant of the room in, as well as a few selected staff members, and of course, Bartlet Kane herself.

    “Time for some training,” Russell announced. “Come on out, boys!”

    He threw his three Pokémon onto the floor next to his elevator, the only area next to him that wasn’t covered in a special terrain. Out of the first Poké Ball emerged a large flying beast. He spread his purple wings, and took to the sky while roaring. His body was grey, and his tail ended in a pointy tip. The second was a green and tan Pokémon who had small red arms. His tail ended in a bundle of toxic spores, and his head was shaped like a mushroom. The third Pokémon was a blue beast, with tusks strong enough to tear open islands of ice.

    “Aerodactyl, Breloom, Walrein,” Russell addressed his team. “This is the biggest opportunity in our lives. We have to win this tournament; if we do, we will become world-known champions, not to mention a new teammate, one of Bartlet. Kane’s actual Pokémon!”

    Aerodactyl roared, while Breloom and Walrein remained motionless. “I know what you want to say, Aerodactyl,” Russell grinned. “I guess this just serves as an incentive. In fact, I will make it an incentive! If any of you give me less than a perfect performance, that Pokémon is replacing you!”

    Aerodactyl released an even bigger roar, one that sent Russell’s hat flying off, revealing his blond hair, while Walrein responded by accepting the challenge, and digging his tusks into the ground, before bringing them up and tearing a hole in the floor that would scare off any wild Pokémon.

    “What about you, Breloom?” Russell’s grin extended. “What are you willing to do?”

    The Mushroom Pokémon created a grin that out Russell’s to shame, and turned around towards the Forest area, presumably to train. Walrein copied his teammate’s actions, and moved away towards the Sea area, while Aerodactyl looked at Russell with visible determination in his eyes.

    “I don’t think Breloom or Walrein would want to train with you right now,” Russell said. “I know you can’t do it by yourself, we’ll find you a partner.”

    With that, Russell grabbed his black hat, and placed it back on his head. He circled his arms around Aerodactyl’s long neck, and jumped onto his back. The pair soared high into the air, and they searched for any trainer who might be willing to battle.

    Aerodactyl was always the competitive one of the team, ever since Russell revived him from the Old Amber he had received from a collector in exchange for an Odd Keystone. Ever since then, Russell had recognised Aerodactyl’s love for challenges, and met it with ones he never thought Aerodactyl would be able to achieve.

    One notable challenge was to fly to Unova in less than an hour, which he surprisingly finished with ten minutes to spare. Not only did Aerodactyl prove himself worthy of any challenge, but Russell also managed to tour Unova without wasting any money on airplane rides, which he passed many of on his way. That trip, Russell managed to catch numerous Pokémon native to Unova, and acquired some Badges just in time to return and finish Hoenn’s Gym Challenge.

    The pair soared as high as the roof allowed them to, when they spotted a single trainer with an unfamiliar Pokémon behind him. “Maybe you can battle that one,” Russell grinned. “Descend.”

    Aerodactyl roared loudly, and drew the trainer’s attention to himself as he reached the ground. He was a blond boy, with green eyes and a high school uniform. “Don’t pull stunts like those,” the trainer said. “You’re not a movie star.”

    “Are you in the tournament?” Russell said, ignoring the trainer’s remarks. “Aerodactyl here wants to battle your Pokémon.”

    Russell and his Pokémon looked at the Pokémon behind the blond boy. It was a small Pokémon enclosed in green jell-like substance. “His name is Reuniclus,” the trainer said. “And I’m William.”

    “I’m Russell,” Russell introduced himself. “So, are you up for a battle?”

    “Are you willing to battle, Reuniclus?” William asked his Pokémon, who nodded back. “Very well then, let’s battle.”

    Russell smiled, and looked at their surroundings. They were in the Field area, where the grass extended to their knees, and the sky remained clear of any trees. Russell took a few steps back, and put distance between him and Aerodactyl, while William did the same for his Reuniclus.

    “Sky Drop!” Russell shouted. “End this quickly, Aerodactyl!”

    The Fossil Pokémon roared, and flew straight towards the unsuspecting Reuniclus before grabbing it, and flying towards the sky. “I didn’t expect that,” William whispered to himself in awe as Aerodactyl flew towards the ground with the squirming Reuniclus in the grip of his legs.

    The Reuniclus hit the ground, while Aerodactyl flew off before he himself smashed into the grass covering the soil. “Pain Split!” William ordered, and Reuniclus glowed with a light shade of green as a piece of his green substance flew away from Aerodactyl, accompanied by a roar of pain, and rejoined Reuniclus.

    Aerodactyl lost his path for a few moments, and struggled to stay airborne as his energy was sucked from him, but he eventually managed to return his wings to flapping normally. “You shouldn’t have done that,” Russell laughed. “Now you’ve made him angry! Crunch!”

    Aerodactyl let out another vicious roar, and flew towards Reuniclus again. “Dizzy Punch!” William ordered, and Reuniclus prepared himself for the impact.

    The grass beneath Aerodactyl, who was now close to the ground, flew to either side of the beast as he approached the opponent. Reuniclus threw his arm in front of him intended on punching Aerodactyl, who was extremely close, while Aerodactyl met him with a mouth filled with razor sharp teeth.

    A second later, Aerodactyl was on his back on the ground, while Reuniclus was missing an arm. “Pain Split again!” William ordered, and the process repeated itself. Reuniclus’s arm flew out of Aerodactyl’s mouth, and reattached itself to Reuniclus.

    The tournament didn’t started yet, but Russell was already getting a taste of the competition he will be having. William was a tough opponent, and if everyone else was like him, then Aerodactyl’s howls of pain were going to last even longer.

  3. #3
    In pain and Insane. British Joe's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Kane Dome

    Just a little heads up; you need to wait at least three hours between posting chapters. Forum rule. :)
    I claim Unown J. Fear teh J.

  4. #4
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Kane Dome

    It doesn't really apply for a Prologue though... At least, that's what I always thought.

  5. #5
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 2


    “What a weird boy,” Claire whispered to herself as she looked from the Safari Zone to the boy looking out of the Kane Dome Hotel onto the area with surprise covering his face. “He must have never seen such a place before.”

    She shrugged him off as an amateur, and redirected her attention to the Kane Safari Zone. The part that she was in was a large field, with very few trees scattered on the horizon. She knew that this entire tournament was just an attraction, and it was just to increase Bartlet Kane’s revenue out of this dome.

    Claire was a participant in the tournament, which meant that everything was free for her, but she still inspected the prices of everything she passed. And for some reason, the Kane Safari Zone was twice more expensive than any other Safari Zone; everything was more expensive here, yet people jumped aboard. Bartlet Kane did a good job by building the dome in the middle of the desert; she had no competition.

    The Safari Zone, though, would crush any competition. It was the largest one Claire had ever been too, and there were rumors that Bartlet Kane had bought lands from all the regions, and imported them to the dome, but these were ridiculous speculations.

    Claire froze in her place as she spotted a Pokémon familiar to her, a Pokémon she had always wanted. Before her stood a four-legged deer-like Pokémon, with grass growing on his horns. He was staring at her, as if waiting for her to make a move, or possibly to challenge her.

    “You’re not getting away,” Claire said, and the Pokémon smashed his hooves against the ground; defiantly challenging her. “An arrogant one, I see! You’re exactly how I imagined you would be!”

    With a quick move, Claire threw a rock at the Sawsbuck, which only angered him, and he charged for her. This must be where he experiences are put to the test. She anticipated the Sawsbuck, and ran forward at the precise second she needed to. Her arms wrapped themselves around his neck, and she was soon on his back, hanging on, and trying to tame him.

    A Sawsbuck is surely nothing like a Rapidash, but that was the only way of taming a wild Pokémon she knew. Most people would resort to throwing Poké Balls, and hope for the best, but she knew that this was the best way to gain a Pokémon’s trust. She held onto his neck as he tried to throw her off. Dust of clouds rose around them as his hooves tore the ground apart, grass was torn away from the soil, Pokémon fled the area, and several trainers observed from a distance.

    Claire let go of the Sawsbuck’s neck, and quickly grabbed his horns before pulling them back, causing his to scream at her. “Settle!” Claire ordered. “Settle!”

    The Sawsbuck cried out again, before gradually stopping his body, and coming to a motionless stand. His legs were covered in dirt, and so was Claire. She jumped off of his back, but kept one hand on him, to make sure that he won’t run off.

    “You’re a good Pokémon,” Claire smiled. “Certainly lasted longer than some others. Why don’t you follow me now? We have to start training as soon as possible.”

    Moments later, Claire walked past the reception with a Sawsbuck following her, much to everyone’s surprise, returned her fifty unused Safari Balls, and collected her Pokémon and items. She place Sawsbuck in one of her own Poké Balls, and walked to the public training area.

    It was filled with tourists and their children, most of them with weak Pokémon; none of them would stand a chance in the tournament. She sat on a bench, and watched as a Bidoof lost to a Rattata. The trainer didn’t seem upset about his Pokémon losing, and Bidoof wasn’t even unconscious yet, just tired. Claire shrugged it off, and leaned back to enjoy the synthetic cool air of the dome.

    She had always been very competitive. Whenever she battled against someone, she made sure her Pokémon would not stop attacking until the opponent was annihilated. It was going to be a challenging training Sawsbuck until he’s as strong as the rest of her team, or the members she brought with her to the tournament at least.

    “I saw you tame the Sawsbuck,” a young voice said, and Claire adjusted herself to see the boy standing before her. “The put it on all the screens.”

    “I’m glad they did,” Claire said. “Maybe you kids will learn a thing or two.”

    “Are you in the tournament?” the boy asked.

    “Yes, I am,” Claire smiled; he could become a fan of hers. “Why do I ask?”

    “I’m in the tournament as well,” the boy said. “My name is Jared.”

    “You’re my competition?” Claire laughed. “You think you can win with a Rattata?”

    “That wasn’t me,” Jared grinned. “Look at people’s faces before you judge. Not all people of the same age look the same.”

    “What do you want, Jared?”

    “Nothing,” he said. “I’m just introducing myself.”

    Claire couldn’t believe what just happened; how can a little boy stand up against her. Jared had already walked away, but Claire was determined to beat him in the tournament, no matter what happens.

    She got up, and stormed off to her unnecessarily large hotel room, where her Crawdaunt had been resting in the pool. She was a red Pokémon with several limps extending from her oval-shaped body, with a star on her forehead. She greeted her trainer by splashing in the water a bit.

    “We should start out training,” Claire said, and returned Crawdaunt to her Poké Ball. “Sawsbuck must catch up to the two of you.”

    She grabbed her second Poké Ball, and placed them in her pocket near Sawsbuck’s Poké Ball. She then strode to the elevator in her room, and went to the training area, the one that wasn’t filled with amateurs and kids. A large man was commanding his Ninjask against some girl’s Drapion, and it seemed that the girl was winning.

    Her Drapion delivered the hit that confirmed Claire’s suspicion, and the Ninjask was knocked motionless to the ground, where it lay there until the trainer recalled it. Claire smiled; at least some of the competition is willing to fight viciously for their victory.

    She sent out her three Pokémon, and Sawsbuck met the Crawdaunt for the first time, and Rapidash greeted the pair. She was a tall tan horse-like Pokémon with fire instead of mane. Claire greeted her long time partner, and jumped onto her back.

    “Let’s go to the Mountain area,” Claire commanded. “We’ll train there.”

  6. #6
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 3


    The Aerodactyl howled in pain, much to William’s pleasure; he was winning. If everyone he battled was as rash as Russell, then this tournament was going to be much easier than he had expected. Reuniclus had just delivered the second Pain Split, and it seemed as if his strategy was going to work.

    “Crunch!” Russell commanded his Pokémon. “Finish this!”

    “Pain Split again,” William calmly said. “Let’s see how long we can keep this up for.”

    Reuniclus nodded, and prepared for the attack. Aerodactyl flew ahead again, wings beating wilder than ever before; he must be angry, furious that Reuniclus was still standing. Aerodactyl opened his mouth, revealing the rows of sharp teeth, and bit down on Reuniclus, who screamed out in pain, much to William’s surprise.

    “Reuniclus didn’t have much energy left!” Russell bragged. “It’s done; I won!”

    It couldn’t be; William had lost. Russell took off on his Aerodactyl, while Reuniclus remained on the ground. William had lost; he couldn’t believe it, no matter how many times the realisation came over him. He withdrew his Pokémon and rushed back into his elevator, which led him into his room.

    He was furious. His most powerful Pokémon lost, not due to Aerodactyl’s strength, but due to William forgetting that Crunch was a powerful move, especially when used against a Psychic Pokémon like Reuniclus. How could he be so careless? This will cost him the tournament.

    He walked out of his room after grabbing all three of his Poké Balls, and followed the long corridor to the main elevator, which he used to go to the lobby of the Kane Dome Hotel. A woman with long hair, and beady black eyes greeted him.

    “Hello, William,” she said in a cold tone. “You aren’t supposed to leave your room, kid.”

    “Someone defeated me,” William responded, and a look of surprise drew itself on the woman’s face. “His name is Russell, and he had an Aerodactyl.”

    “Already?” the woman’s tone rose. “Come on, William. We didn’t even start the tournament, yet you lost to some trainer already? We’re going to have to take care of your mistakes again, aren’t we? I’ll inform Orville.”

    The woman scanned William. His body was stiff, and his nerves were showing. “Relax,” she said. “Your sister is still alive.”

    “How am I supposed to believe you?” William said, progressively becoming angrier.

    “Alive or dead, your sister shouldn’t concern you,” the woman said. “Either way, your own life is still at risk, and you either way, you must win this tournament.”

    §


    “Bartlet Kane had begun funding a dome large enough to put Castelia City to shame. What are your thoughts, Judy?”

    “It’s really astounding, Jeff. They expect the dome to be finished within a year, and there are over a hundred construction companies working on it. Not only that, but reports indicate that Mrs. Kane had bought an entire breeding facility for rare Pokémon, fueling the speculation that she might build her own reserve inside the dome.”

    William observed the report as his Solosis, a small round Pokémon, ate the berries his trainer had given him. The pair were inside their house in Icirrus City, and as the news report kept playing in the background, William got up and walked towards the window, from which he could see children playing with each other and their Pokémon.

    They are all going to become Trainers some day, and they’ll see the famous Castelia City, and every other landmark in Unova. William was never able to travel due to his sick mother; she fell ill a few months before he was supposed to start his journey, and he had to stay home to take care of her in her dying days.

    His sister, Linda, had already started her journey. William envied her for it, even though she started her journey before their mother became ill, and she had been out of reach. He walked away from the window, and noticed Solosis sleeping on the floor next to some leftover berries.

    “…is that Mrs. Kane bought an entire land in the middle of the desert,” Judy continued. “And a big announcement is due in three months. Bartlet is surely to use that time to hype the announcement.”

    §


    The hotel room seemed more empty than usual. William lay down on his bed, and closed his eyes. He could hear the children shouting outside, and the loud sounds of the training battles. His mind wandered off to Icirrus City, where he wished he had been for his mother’s final days.

    His hands played with his three Poké Balls, and he went over all the strategies he would use to win the tournament. He didn’t know what was going to happen to Russell, and he regretted informing Rose of his loss, but he knew that he had to, to save his sister.

    “Four months ago, the world anticipated an announcement that everyone believed would change life as we know it,” the news report echoed in William’s head. “Joining us live today is Bartlet Kane herself, to make this announcement.”

    “Hello, world,” a middle-aged woman with a peculiar face structure greeted everyone who was watching the report. “I’m Bartlet Kane. Firstly, I would like to apologise for the extra month of waiting; we ran into some obstacles. But that is behind us now. I am here to announce the event that you’ve been promised; a tournament.”

    §


    “It’s just another one of her stunts,” William’s mother coughed. “Ignore her, William.”

    “…so magnificent, so amazing, the biggest event in the world,” Bartlet continued. “From around the world, I invite all the trainers. As long as you have a Trainer Card, you’re qualified. I invite everyone to watch, to attend, to witness this once-in-a-lifetime event. So don’t die until then, people!”

    Bartlet let out a fake laugh, while William lowered his head. “Don’t worry, William,” his mother said. “I’m not dying anytime soon.”

    Tears streamed down his face, and he threw himself into his mother’s weak arms, trying to keep whatever will be left of her with him forever. She tightened her grip around her son, and weakly kissed his forehead as he wept, while Bartlet continued: “This is going to the highlight of your life!”

  7. #7
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 4


    Night had finally set, but it was undistinguishable from the morning time inside the Dome; everything remained buzzing with life, the lights never went out, the families of tourists remained in the streets, the Safari Zone was as busy as ever, and the hotel room next to Willow’s was too loud for her to get a good night’s sleep.

    She was on her bed, with a pillow over her head, but her blond hair flowed out from under it. She was a quite a short girl, and circling the pillow around her entire head with very possible, though the hotel room pillows were quite large.

    Next to her, on the ground, lay a purple spiky Pokémon, her trusted Drapion. He squirmed as the music seemed to get louder, and he wasn’t the only one. On the bed was a small pink Pokémon with a mane of wool. The Flaaffy’s tail blinked rapidly, indicating her discomfort with the situation, while a tall blue and yellow Pokémon held back the urge to break the wall down with his voice.

    “Let it be, Exploud,” Willow’s muffled voice came through the pillow. “Why don’t we just go outside?”

    Her Pokémon knew Willow well enough to realise that she wasn’t, she demanded that they go outside. Drapion was the first to follow, with Exploud following closely behind him. Flaaffy was aware of her size compared to those two Pokémon, and returned to her old habit of jumping on Exploud’s head and allowing him to carry her.

    They walked to the elevator, and Willow pressed the button frantically. “If you press it faster, it knows you’re in a hurry, and hurries to you,” she said as someone approached the group, and stood next to them waiting for the elevator. “See? It worked!”

    The elevator doors opened, and the group went inside. Willow kept pressing the G button frantically, while Flaaffy tried to unsuccessfully initiate a conversation with the man standing next to Exploud, who ignored her until they arrived, immediately exiting the elevator.

    “He was weird,” Willow laughed, and Flaaffy agreed. “So, friends, this is what we will do. Since we can’t get any kind of sleep in my room, we are going to just explore the dome, maybe even get to know some of the competition.”

    Exploud emitted some soft sounds that indicated agreement, while Flaaffy and Drapion simply nodded, and the trio followed their trainer.

    Willow was quite a special case for a trainer. Being discovered by a company after seeing her battle with Flaaffy at the age of eight, she was far too young to travel the world, and the company sponsored her journey, and managed to get her parents to travel with her. At the age of nine, she was one of the youngest people to beat the League in her region, and at the age of ten, one of the youngest to join this tournament.

    But by then, her parents had already seen Willow in action, and knew that, as young as she was, she was able to defend herself, and take care of any danger she might encounter, and opted to stay home, while she took part of the tournament, due to her mother’s pregnancy.

    And Willow was a capable child. Even though she wasn’t the most rational person, her survival instincts never failed her, but her clumsiness was about to get the best of her. She walked around the hotel to an alleyway, a damp and dark one.

    A black van was at the end, with a few people loading some boxes into it, and one coffin. She spectated from a distance, while her Pokémon stood in front of her, as a shield. It was a long moment of silence, until a jolt of pain shot down Willow’s spine, and the last thing she saw was her Pokémon turning around, and Flaaffy jumping towards her.

    §


    Night wasn’t particularly terrifying when all the lights were turned on, and all the people were bustling about from shop to shop, restaurant to restaurant, buying all the ridiculously expensive items, and trying all the exotic foods they could never get the ingredients to in their region. And behind the rows and rows of tourist attractions, was the Kane Dome Hotel, where Jared was supposed to return two hours ago.

    He had joined this tournament alongside his brother, Walwyn. He pair started their journey at the same time, despite Walwyn’s initial objection, and the considerable age gap. In fact, the age gap was almost perfect. At 10 and 18, any other time, it would have been impossible for one of them to join the tournament, Jared would either be too young, or Walwyn would be too old.

    Jared made his way through the crowd, struggling to walk more than two steps each ten seconds, wanting to return to the hotel as soon as possible, knowing that Walwyn was already concerned with his safety.

    “Come on, people,” he sighed. “It’s not like we’re trying to catch a legendary, hurry up and move along…”

    A few women turned their heads, and gave a displeased look, while the others seemed too busy to hear him; he was surprised that the women heard this weak murmur amongst the crows.

    “Well it’s true!” Jared defended himself. “We’re not walking on glass!”

    Some of the women gave the same look, while some of them ignored him, but one woman approached him. “Excuse me, young sir,” she said in the weirdest accent Jared had ever heard. “It is rude to say to people they walk slow. It not their fault; crowd is large.”

    “I’m sorry,” Jared sighed with an eye roll. “I’m just in a hurry to get to my brother.”

    “Are you in the tournament, by chance?”

    “Not by chance, by power,” Jared chuckled. “I’m really the best trainer there is.”

    “I notice you young,” the woman said. “I am tourist, come from faraway. Not in tournament, of course.”

    Of course she wasn’t in the tournament, she just said that she was a tourist. “Where did you come from?” Jared asked; he was going to be stuck in the crowd for a while, might as well talk to somebody.

    “Some faraway place,” the woman insisted. “I say it is very cold and snowy. Here, a desert is very hot and sandy.”

    “Yeah, it does get quite boring around here,” Jared said. “That old lady Bartlet is really rude for building the dome here.”

    “I agree,” the woman said. “I amn’t used to hot.”

    “No, I mean,” Jared started. “There are Pokémon living here, and she took a huge chunk of their homes to herself. She didn’t even care about their babies! It’s true, I saw that on TV!”

    “Yes, yes,” the woman said. “But I amn’t used to hot, still. My name, Bathilda.”

    “I’m Jared.”

    “Good name, Jared,” Bathilda said. “I ‘ill be rooting for you, how you say it, yes?”

    “Yeah, that’s fine,” Jared laughed. “Thanks!

    Bathilda nodded her head, and took a turn away from Jared. He didn’t see it coming, but he was already at the end of the maze made out of shops and restaurants, and almost at the hotel; Bathilda’s struggling to find her words must have taken more than he thought.

    He took a right turn, and walked on the empty sidewalk. Out of the corner before him, sped a black van, followed by a small pink and white Pokémon, shouting after it before it noticed Jared, who froze in surprise.

    It shouted at him, and pointed at the van, tears in it’s eyes, and dirt covering it’s wool. “Is something wrong?” Jared said, tilting his head, and causing the Pokémon’s cries to increase in volume. “Do you want to follow it?”

    The Pokémon let out a long cry, and nodded. Without thinking about it, Jared sent out his Scolipede, and jumped on, while the Pokémon struggled to get on. “Follow the tire marks!” Jared ordered, and Scolipede recognized the hurried tone of voice, and took off with amazing speed for it’s size, and at the last minute, Jared grabbed the Pokémon with his arm, and helped it up while holding on with his other arm.

    §


    “Breaking news,” the reporter said in a monotone voice, accompanied by dramatic music. “A Scolipede has been seen chasing a speeding black van. No other information is available, except that the Scolipede is being guided by a young boy, and his Flaaffy.”

    The cameras changed to show the boy, who Walwyn recognised as his brother; when did he get a Flaaffy? He quickly put on his jacket, and rushing for the door, he realised that it would take far too long to go downstairs, and follow them from the streets. He changed his direction to the window, and sent out a large brown and green Pokémon.

    “Tropius!” Walwyn commanded as he opened the window. “Hurry, we’re flying!”

    The Pokémon growled in response, and jumped through the wind, with Walwyn latching onto the Pokémon at the last minute.

    “Their reasons are unknown, and the van is unidentified,” continued the reporter on The KD Network. “Stay tuned for more updates.”

    “The KD Network,” a female voice replaced the report, with the same dramatic music, but a colourful visual. “We bring to you the latest news, from within The Kane Dome.”
    Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 6th June 2011 at 12:09 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 5


    Jared had no idea why he choose to follow the van, or why he trusted a Pokémon he had never seen before, or how his brother will react. The street was empty, except for the black van, the Scolipede, and the white van following them, labeled “The KD Network.”

    Scolipede’s speed increased, and she was soon pointing her horns at the van, ready to tear it apart with just a few quick moves. “Scolipede, don’t do it,” Jared ordered his Pokémon. “This Pokémon’s trainer is in there, and they might get hurt.”

    Scolipede glanced back at her trainer, and made a sound that can only be considered as a shrug off before ramming herself into the van. Her horns pierced the sides, and she sped forwards, the top of the van was completely shaved off. The driver started to lose control, and the car skidded sideways, about to flip over, when Scolipede crash into it with her body, causing it to come to a sudden and complete stop.

    The van tilted to it’s side before coming back down with a creaking sound. Jared leaned over to see the Pokémon’s trainer when a familiar voice called out to him. He looked up to the sky; his brother Walwyn and his Tropius were approaching them, and soon, they were by the ground near them.

    “What happened?” Walwyn asked. “And who’s Flaaffy is that?”

    “I was coming back to the hotel, but this Pokémon ran up to me and asked me to save it’s trainer,” Jared explained. “I’m sorry if you had you worried.”

    “We’re going back to the hotel room now,” Walwyn insisted. “Withdraw Scolipede quickly.”

    Jared obeyed his brother’s orders without questioning them; he withdrew Scolipede, and hung onto Tropius before the group flew away just before the news van arrived on the scene.

    §


    The entire dome was active; too active for this time of the night. Linda rushed over to where everyone gathered. News reporters were on the scene, and law enforcement kept all the spectators at a safe distance. She struggled to get to the front of the crowd, and get an idea on what is happening.

    A van was the center of attention, but strangely, it seemed to be cut in half. A little girl, probably one of the youngest in the tournament, was sitting next to a Flaaffy, and being questioned by someone. Some individuals were being treated by the medical staff, and a coffin was being extracted from the van.

    §


    Whatever it was, it certainly was the center of everyone’s attention. Claire turned off the television, and looked out of her window; the crowd gathered just on the horizon of her vision.

    “What do you think happened?”

    “Nothing important.”

    “It certainly is important enough for the entire dome to care about.”

    “I think they failed.”

    “In taking Russell?”

    “He is supposed to be in the coffin.”

    “He’s dead?”

    §


    “At least you didn’t kill him,” William sighed as the newsman finished his report, and live footage of the accident site was shown. “But that was surprisingly inefficient of you.”

    “It makes you happy, doesn’t it?” the woman responded. “That we made a single mistake. But please, don’t let it get your hopes and ambitions up; it won’t happen again. Some stupid kid interfered with us, and he’ll be taken care of.”

    “You’re going to kill a kid?”

    “Yes. I hope that doesn’t get in the way of your-“

    “Linda!”

    The pair’s attention was redirected to the television, and both of their suspicions were confirmed. Linda was amongst the crowd, safe and sound. She stroked her hair, and looked over some shoulders for a way out before walking towards her destination.

    “You don’t have her,” William smiled. “You were lying all along.”

    “That idiot!” the woman turned to face William. “Don’t think of going anywhere just yet, or I will have her killed.”

    Her hand tightened on a Poké Ball, and so did William’s.

    §


    The buzz of the room settled down with a mere sound of a woman clearing her throat, and everyone’s eyes travelled to meet none other than Bartlet Kane herself. She tapped her foot a few times to make sure everyone’s complete focus was on her. Her arms were crossed, her suit was very formal, and her eyes showed utter disgust.

    “I thought I hired you all for a reason,” her voice, though delicate, dominated the room. “Each and every one of you people was picked specifically by me; you are the best in your line of your work.”

    She paced to the center of the room, and the crowd split, almost cowering in her shadow. As much as her dominance over these people gave her pleasure, she didn’t show any sign that could possibly comfort them. Her heels echoed through the room, as if she was the only one there, and her exhales indicated her frustration.

    “You were supposed to make sure my dome, my home, is safe,” Bartlet’s voice rose into a shout as she settled in the middle of the crowd. “You all failed! That Russell boy was drugged, kidnapped, and placed in a coffin! And that Willow girl was hit, and kidnapped as well! How could you all be so stupid!”

    “Madam Kane, please,” a man spoke. “The security was just as you ordered it.”

    “So it’s my fault?” the crowd emitted many sighs, and all eyes travelled to the man, followed by murmurs. “I ordered the best people in this line of business, and if you’re supposed to be the best, then I am disappointed. You’re all fired.”

    The crowd exploded with objections and threats. Bartlet Kane had promised them millions in order to help her, but now it was all gone. Some of them acknowledged their mistake, and walked out with their heads held down, while others kept on pointing their finger and threatening.

    “Please, sue me!” Bartlet laughed. “You think you can take on me?! I am a million times richer than all of you combined, and there is no lawyer you can bring about that can take on my team!”

    The bodyguards started jumping into the crowd, holding back anyone who was about to lash out at Bartlet Kane. A man drew one of the bodyguards’ gun, the commotion rose, and a shot was fired.

  9. #9
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 6


    The man was tackled to the ground, and the gun fell out of his hands, while a woman lay in a pool of her own blood. The crowd broke apart quickly, and those who originally wanted to tear Bartlet Kane apart scurried away.

    A group of bodyguards had already dragged Bartlet to a safe place, while a few others stayed and held down the man.

    §


    Russell slowly opened his eyes, and felt his whole body in pain as he tried to move it.

    “He’s awake,” a woman in white shouted as she held him down. “Sir, don’t move, you’ve been in a car accident. You’re in the hospital now. A doctor will be with you shortly.”

    Russell tried to speak, but his voice betrayed him. His memory was hazy, like his vision, and his body was in pain. The nurse allowed her hands to loosen as she felt Russell settle in his bed, and looked at the door, waiting for the doctor to come in.

    §


    “He’s awake,” a woman’s voice sounded through the hall. “Sir-“

    “It must be Russell,” a doctor spoke. “Why don’t you look after Willow, and I’ll go see the boy.”

    “Yes, doctor,” another nurse spoke as she settled next to Willow, with Flaaffy next to her. The doctor quickly left the door, and she was left with the unconscious little girl whose heart was racing.

    “This isn’t natural,” the nurse moaned, and Flaaffy copied. “Her heart shouldn’t be beating that fast.”

    §


    “A woman was shot dead by a bullet intended for Bartlet Kane,” the newswoman said in the most monotone voice. “The shooter was Joshua Kiser, a man Bartlet Kane herself hired to make sure that the training areas in The Kane Dome Hotel were completely safe.”

    A picture of the woman was shown on the screen, and Jared gasped. “I know her,” he pointed at the television, and turned his head to his brother. “I met her while I was on my way back to the hotel. She was really nice to me. She said she was a tourist”

    “It’s ok, Jared,” Walwyn’s hand rested on his little brother’s head. “She’s in a better place now.”

    “That’s what you always say,” Jared sighed. “You said that about mom as well.”

    Walwyn breathed heavily at the mention of their dead mother, but kept his hand on Jared’s head. “Records indicate that the woman wasn’t part of Bartlet Kane’s staff,” the woman continued. “Her next of kin had been informed, and rumors that circulated around saying that Bartlet Kane paid the family millions in order to not take legal actions, have been found false.”

    §


    “They were arrested, I just confirmed it,” the man said to Claire. “But this changes nothing.”

    “I know that, Charles,” Claire scoffed. “I’ll still do my part of the job, and you can do yours. Besides, why wouldn’t they be arrested? They kidnapped a boy and a ten-year-old girl.”

    “You don’t need to get smart with me, Claire,” Charles said. “Just win the tournament.”

    “How many others are there?” Claire asked. “How many participants are there that are like me?”

    “A lot.”

    §


    “How are you feeling, Russell?”

    “I’m in pain,” Russell struggled. “Can’t you inject me with something?”

    “We did all we could,” the doctor said. “You were drugged and paralysed by a Pokémon, and your body is in pain from the crash. Traces of the drug are still in your system, and our medication would just conflict with that; we can’t do anything.”

    Russell sighed, and adjusted himself in the bed, only to cause more pain. The doctor and the nurse assisted him, and eventually, he was sitting upright.

    “People are coming to take your statements now,” the doctor said. “They want to know if one of the people they arrested was the one who drugged you, or if you remember anything of what happened to you.”

    “Nothing.”

    “Well, that’s up for them to decide.”

    “Are you suggesting I will lie?” Russell chuckled, and quickly grabbed his side in pain. “Let’s get it over with.”

    §


    “Yes, Mrs. Kane,” a man nodded his head before leaving the woman’s office. “It won’t be long before your new team is formed.”

    “It’ll take longer if you stay here and talk to me!” Bartlet Kane shouted at the man. “Close the door and get to it!”

    The man lowered his head and retreated out of here office, leaving Bartlet alone in her space. She glanced over to her shelf of Pokémon, each Poké Ball was associated with a trophy; all reminders of her greatest achievements as a Pokémon Trainer.

    A tear trickled down her cheek at the nostalgic memories of being on the road, travelling, battling, training, and not caring about reputation, money, and a stupid tournament. But most of all, she missed being young, and alone.

    Her palms rested on her desk, and helped push her body up off of the chair. She wiped away her tear, and walked towards her personal exhibition. She knew which Poké Ball held which Pokémon, and remembered every single moment she had with them on her journey.

    §


    “I wish I could help you, but I remember nothing aside from what I already told you,” Russell said. “I was training, then I woke up in this hospital.”

    “Are you sure you aren’t hiding something from us?”

    “Yes, I am.”

    “You do realise that a 10-year-old girl is in a medically-induced coma, with a pretty strange heart condition. If you hide anything, it could cost her her life.”

    “I’m not hiding anything,” Russell insisted. “Can I rest now?”

    “Sure,” the man returned his pen and his notepad to his pocket. “Thank you for your cooperation, Russell.”

    The man and his associate exited the room, leaving Russell alone to struggle back into a laying position. His pain was still great, but he had become adjusted to it. He looked out of his window, and watched the closest thing the dome had to a sunset; some lights turning off, some shops closing down, and other lights coming on.

    Hours passed, and Russell was left alone with his thoughts. His Pokémon were probably still in the training area; they wouldn’t stop their training for something as meaningless as their trainer being late to picking them up. Russell’s gaze travelled to the door when he heard a knock.

    Visiting hours were surely over, but he recognised his friend, and how she was able to avoid any person if she wanted to. “Hello, Russell,” she smiled. “I heard you were in a car crash.”

    “I was.”

    “You seem pretty… intact,” she laughed. “How are you?”

    “I’m fine, Linda,” Russell smiled back. “How are you?”
    Last edited by Kyuuketsuki; 28th June 2011 at 01:38 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 7


    “It’s a very needless commotion,” Zdenka scoffed as she turned off her television set. “A kidnapping, a crash, and a shooting? All in two days? It just seems like Bartlet is trying to get attention, if you ask me.”

    “I agree,” Alexej said. “But what do you want to do with your newly-gained knowledge? Confront her?”

    “No, I’m just saying that it’s obviously an act,” Zdenka responded as she turned to face her partner. “It’s publicity.”

    “Would Bartlet really kidnap a boy and a girl, hospitalise them, then kill a woman for publicity?” Alexej laughed. “That seems like a very bad attempt at publicity to me.”

    §


    The start of a new day came too slow, and it was far too needed. Almost everyone in the dome was concerned with their own safety, and had locked themselves in their rooms, shops, cars, and any other form of shelter. Russell and Linda had spent the night talking and discussing their strategies to win the tournament; Claire slept peacefully while Charles stood guard; William was sleepless and trying to find a way to escape from the prison he was in and find his sister; Jared and Walwyn let go of all the events that had happened, and received a decent amount of rest; and Willow was kept in her medically-induced coma.

    But for one person, that night was like no other.

    They all waited for a statement from Bartlet Kane, in order to clarify the string of events, and reassure the safety of the residents and security of the dome. A group of bodyguards knocked on Bartlet’s office, and waited, to accompany her to The KD Network HQ.

    §


    “Breaking news,” the woman reported in the same monotone voice. “Bartlet Kane was scheduled to address to the residents of the dome today in order to reaffirm the security and safety of the public, but recent discoveries shows that she is missing. Her bodyguards discovered her office empty a few hours ago, and a search has started almost immediately afterwards. There have been signs of robbery.”

    Zdenka shook her head in disbelief. “Is she serious?” she laughed. “She would abandon the tournament? What for?”

    “We don’t know what happened yet,” Alexej said. “Don’t be quick to judge.”

    “Look, I know my mother; she ran away,” Zdenka turned off her television set. “She ran away and staged a robbery. In fact, this “robbery” is probably just a few missing Poké Balls.”

    “Then staying at the dome is the wrong place to be. We only came here to find her. So, we should probably leave, and start the search somewhere else.”

    “If Bartlet wants to get away, then she will. No one will find her. Our best option is to stay here and hope that she comes back quickly. She owes me.”

    §


    “Does that mean the tournament is cancelled?” Linda sighed. “This is… really annoying.”

    “I’m sure the tournament isn’t cancelled,” Russell said. “They have sponsors, and a lot of people depending on this tournament to happen. They won’t halt the event they’re been hyping just because their host is missing; that would be ridiculous. In fact, I bet they will play the “Mrs. Kane would have wanted the tournament to go forward” excuse.”

    “You’re wrong,” Linda said. “They will not go forward with the tournament. They won’t know how to handle it without Bartlet Kane.”

    “Well, she doesn’t have any posi-“

    “Who are you?” a nurse peeked through the door. “It’s too early for visiting hours. I’m going to have to ask you to leave, ma’am.”

    “Oh well,” Linda chuckled. “I’ll see you when I’m allowed to, Russell.”

    She got up from her chair, and walked towards the door, which the nurse held open and gave her a judging look as she walked past her. She followed Linda to the door of the hospital, and made sure that she understood the timeframe for visitations, which Linda found frustrating.

    The streets and sidewalks were very empty as Linda walked through them with no set destination. The shops were open, but like the area around them, empty. She paced quickly, and made a turn, then another, and another. The hospital was soon out of sight, and she was lost, but she moved anyway.

    The area around her slowly became a rural residential area. Linda recognised it as where all the staff members live with their families. They all left their previous jobs, and relocated inside the dome, probably until they retire or stop working under Bartlet Kane. She would have seen kids playing with their Pokémon and each other, mothers watering their gardens, and fathers driving to work, but it seemed that the recent events left everyone in a state of uncertainty, even those who were supposed to be the ones who made the dome safe.

    §


    Her greatest creation finally faded in the distance.

    Bartlet wrapped her arms around her Pokémon’s neck as they flew away. She knew that everyone was waiting for an announcement from her, but it was too late now. The dome wasn’t safe.

    She knew who was there, and why they did it. They probably have a few participants in the tournament as well; cancelling it would have been the right move, and she should have stayed back and did that, but if she was no longer present at the tournament, there wasn’t any danger.

    The kidnapped boy and girl were probably strong competitors that threatened their goal of winning the tournament, and the man who tried to shoot her must have worked for them as well.

    “Wait,” Bartlet ordered her Pokémon, who obeyed almost instantly. “Let’s fly up, not away. Go above the dome.”

    The Pokémon obeyed and turned around. They flew back towards the dome, but at he right trajectory to avoid any searchers, and they were eventually above the clouds.

    The partners kept flying. It became harder to breath, but that issue soon became meaningless; Bartlet’s suspicions were confirmed.

    “He’s here,” she muttered hopelessly. “Fly away, quickly.”

    “It’s too late, Bartlet.”

  11. #11
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 8


    “You’re a girl, Bartha!” the women shouted. “There is no future for you in Pokémon training! Who’s going to marry you if you keep acting like a stubborn girl?!”

    “Why do I have to get married in the first place?!” Bartha retaliated. “I’m not like you, mother! I want to work to achieve my dreams, but you just want me to stay and hope that everything will be fine for me!”

    Bartha placed her hand on the doorknob, and pushed it open; ready to walk out of her previous life, and pursue whatever it is that she wanted. She looked back at her mother, and took a step outside.

    “If you go any further, you’re never coming back home,” her mother said, almost crying. “Bartha, step back home.”

    “No,” Bartha bit her lip. “You’ve already abandoned me, mothe- No, you’re not my mother anymore, Bartlet.”

    §


    Bartha knew that she should have never left her home, and her only family member. The world outside her house was a strange and scary place to be, let alone for a girl. She couldn’t get a Pokémon from anyone, because then they would know that she escaped from her home, and would probably take her back to her mother.

    She was torn about whether to go back or not. Bartha made it clear that Bartlet was no longer her mother, and going back would just prove how wrong Bartha was for believing that she could make it out in the world by herself, with no help at all. But she still wanted to go back. Her home, with her mother, was a safe place to be, safer than any place she could be in.

    Her options for getting a Pokémon were few and radical: she could steal one from a trainer, or steal a Poké Ball and hope to catch one on her own, or just hope to befriend a wild one, which is unlikely to end pleasantly. Bartha sighed as she looked around the quiet little town she was in.

    There were few houses scattered around, a Pokémon Center, and a Poké Mart. Very few residents were out, and those who were stayed very close to their houses.

    Stealing a Pokémon sounded extremely repulsive, as was risking her own life to befriend a Pokémon; stealing a Poké Ball seemed to be the best combination of safety and ethicality, even though it was neither of those. Bartha set her eyes on the Poké Mart, and sighed as she started walking towards it.

    The door opened with a jingle from the wind chimes, and Bartha was greeted by the salesman.

    “Hello,” Bartha nervously said. “I’m here to buy a Poké Ball.” She tried her best to hide her nervousness; a girl buying Poké Balls would be a very rare sight, if not a new one. “It’s for my brother.” She added just as she caught the salesman’s questioning look.

    “Sure,” the salesman’s expression returned to normal. “How many do you need?”

    “Just one,” Bartha said. “No, actually, two.” She didn’t have the heart to steal more than one, but she would probably need one more as a backup in case the first Poké Ball breaks.

    The salesman pulled two Poké Balls from beneath the desk, and placed them at the top of the counter. “That would be-“

    Bartha grabbed them, and ran for the door, knocking a few items along the way. “Come back, thief!”

    The salesman’s shouts echoes in her head as she ran away: “Thief!”.

    §


    Now what?

    Bartha had managed to avoid being caught for stealing Poké Balls, survived a battle with a Pokémon, and caught that Pokémon. Her next steps were mysterious to her.

    Girls weren’t taught how to become Pokémon Trainers, or how to survive in the wild. She didn’t know what to do after getting a Pokémon, and her best bet was to ask someone, someone who won’t make her go back home, if such a person existed.

    Bartha knew that trainers passed through where she was all the time, and she was bound to meet one of them sooner or later. They would most likely be a starting trainer, as she wasn’t that far away from her hometown, but they would also know enough about training to teach her.

    And so, she waited. Her time was spent eating berries, and bonding with her newly caught Pokémon. The trees around them moved slightly with the wind, and the tranquility of the area gave Bartha a much-needed rest of the mind.

    §


    “It’s too late, Bartlet.”

    The familiar voice and his words were followed by a jolt of pain, and the area around Bartlet quickly flooded together. The landscape, dome, and colours, all became one mixture as Bartlet fell through the sky.

    Her Pokémon rushed towards her, but she knew it was too late. The top of the dome was approaching, and as soon as she hits it, she will be dead, killed by her own greatest creation.

    And as he watched his enemy fall through the sky, he let a grin slip, and instructed to be taken to her side, to watch her final moments, her final expression before she died. His Pokémon obeyed, and flew past Bartlet’s Pokémon, and to Bartlet’s side.

    “I finally won,” he said to her. “You’ll die.”

    §


    The dome was being abandoned.

    News of Bartlet’s death caused such a commotion that no one trusted the safety of this place anymore. The tournament was cancelled, the shops were shut down, and the streets were emptier than ever.

    Only a few stayed back at the dome, those who had nowhere to go.

    Walwyn and his brother Jared, who had no family to return to. They had no family, none that they knew of. The closest they had to a connection was each other, and they weren’t even related biologically.

    Willow had no option of leaving, nor did Jackie, her nurse who grew practically fond of the little girl. She was going to wake up when it was safe for her, whenever her surgeries were over.

    William faced death if he dared to leave, so did Claire. Even though their purpose in the tournament was done, they still had no option of going anywhere. William’s mother was dead, and his sister was probably being watched, and Claire was merely faced death.

    Russell stayed in the hospital due to his wounds, and Linda stayed to look after him. Either way, leaving without a destination wasn’t an option for Russell; he had to know his next destination in order to leave. He gave his hotel key and Poké Balls to Linda; his Pokémon should probably stop training now.

    Alexej stayed by Zdenka’s side as she attended her mother’s funeral. Bartlet was buried at the center of the dome, below the area she died. The once happy park became a glorified grave.

    The once young ambitious girl Bartha became another body buried underneath the earth.

  12. #12
    ◓Gypsy Vanner Horse Kyuuketsuki's Avatar
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    Default The Kane Dome

    Chapter 9


    “So you’re a girl, but also a Pokémon Trainer,” Tavin tilted his head. “I’ve never heard of anyone like you before.”

    “I’m sure there are others,” Bartha said. “Anyway, will you teach me what to do now? I have no idea what to do with my Pokémon.”

    “You can train it,” Tavin said. “And catch some more Pokémon, and train those as well. It’s a very easy job.”

    “And then what?” said Bartha. “After I have an arsenal of strong Pokémon, what next?”

    “Battle your way to the top,” Tavin said. “You just have to prove yourself by battling as many people as you can, and build your reputation. If you’re strong enough, then eventually, your reputation will precede you, and then you will be invited to battles by those whose reputations are equal to yours. You can accept their challenges, and battle them to build your reputation even further, and those battles will probably have some large audience.”

    “That sounds impossible,” Bartha frowned. “Sure, to you it’s all fun and games and ambitions and dreams, but I’m a girl, and who will admit to a girl defeating them?”

    “You’re right,” Tavin rubbed his head and chuckled. “But you’re not looking at the different angle. Not many will admit to being defeated by a girl, but those who do will help you even further. This girl, this new trainer, will impress people and you’ll reach where many boys try to be faster than them. You can start by battling me; I’ll admit to it if you defeat me.”

    “I’m really lucky to have encountered you out of all trainers,” Bartha laughed. “I don’t think we exchanged last names; I’m Bartlet Nase.”

    “Nice to meet you, Nase,” Tavin said. “I’m Tavin Kane.”

    §


    “Follow the light with your eyes; it’s just to make sure everything is fine.”

    Willow followed the doctor’s orders, and after a few seconds, he turned off his small flashlight, and returned it to his pocket. “Everything seems fine,” he said. “But I’d like to keep you here for a few more weeks just to be safe.”

    “That’s fine,” Willow said as she rocked her legs back and forth. “More relaxation for me, I suppose.”

    “Do you feel tired, or nauseous?” the doctor said, and Willow shook her head. “Very well then, just remember to press the button to call a nurse if you need anything.”

    “Like Pokémon,” Willow laughed. “Thank you, Dr. Raine.”

    “No problem, Willow,” Dr. Raine said. “And Flaaffy, guard her well.”

    Flaaffy nodded her head cheerfully, and quickly returned to observing the world through the hospital room’s window.

    “It’s a shame the tournament was cancelled,” Willow said to her Pokémon after the Dr. Raine left the room. “I was looking forward to it. And everyone abandoned the dome, too. I guess that’s what happens when the most guarded person ever dies.”

    Flaaffy emitted a sad sound, and returned to Willow’s side. She placed her body right next to hers, and cuddled into a ball. Normally, Flaaffy would emit a very weak electrical current to show her affection for her trainer, but that became dangerous after Willow’s surgeries.

    She wrapped her arms around her Pokémon, and let sleep drag her away.

    §


    “Nice to meet you as well, Tavin Kane,” Bartha smiled. “How about we battle right now?”

    “Sure,” Tavin smiled back as he got up and dusted his clothes off. His hand reached to his pocket, and produced a dirty Poké Ball. “I’ll start with Combusken!”

    A medium-sized Pokémon emerged from Tavin’s Poké Ball. His arms ended in three long claws, and his feet resembled those of a bird.

    “I’ve never seen that Pokémon before,” Bartha gazed in awe. “I hope it isn’t as strong as it looks. Go, Zigzagoon!”

    A very small stripped Pokémon appeared out of Bartha’s Poké Ball, and emitted a weak sound. Tavin examined the Pokémon for a second, before finally grinning.

    “It won’t have a chance against Combusken,” Tavin said. “Do you still want to go through with this battle?”

    “What makes you so sure Zigzagoon is weaker than Combusken?” Bartha frowned. “For all you know, it could be the best Zigzagoon in the wild!”

    “It’s fairly small, probably a baby,” Tavin started. “And you said you just caught her somewhere near this Route, which means she is very weak, as most of the Pokémon here are peaceful and inexperienced in battles. That and Combusken has an advantage against her, Type wise.”

    “We still want to battle, don’t we, Zigzagoon?”

    She gave her trainer a questioning look, but turned to face the opponent anyway; she was as willing to battle as Bartha was, even if her loss was already written in stone.

    “Double Kick, Combusken!” Tavin commanded his Pokémon in the most ruthless manner ever.

    “Tackle!”

    What Tavin expected became true; Combusken landed one kick on Zigzagoon, which halted her attack immediately, and the second kick sent her flying towards her trainer, unconscious. Bartha had lost her first battle as quick as she started it.

    “I told you it was impossible,” Tavin said. “But don’t worry; I’ll help you train your Zigzagoon, and eventually, she’ll be strong.”

    “You’re too kind, Tavin,” Bartha smiled as she stroked her Pokémon’s fur gently. “What makes you so willing to help me?”

    “I guess it’s just the type of person I am,” Tavin returned Bartha’s smile in the same manner he did earlier. “I like helping people, and mostly, I like seeing Trainers become strong.”

    “That’s very wishful of you,” Bartha said. “I’m not going to become a strong Trainer; I’m just a girl.”

    “You can still be strong, Bartlet. I believe in you.”

    §


    “I didn’t know you were married!” Willow exclaimed. “And to my doctor!”

    “I actually used to be a doctor myself,” Mrs. Raine said. “But ever since I got married, and got older, I decided to retire. And I did, for a while, but eventually, I got asked to be a nurse. It’s not the same responsibilities and effort a doctor has, but it was better than staying home alone.”

    “Why did you retire, then?” Willow asked. “If you didn’t like being alone.”

    “I think you’re a little too young for the full details,” Mrs. Raine said. “But, I looked at your profile, and I understand why you’re here in the dome, and not in a hurry to go anywhere. Basically, the same reason.”

    “You have no parents to return to, too?” Willow frowned.

    “No children, to be specific,” she responded. “I can’t have children.”

    “Why don’t I be your child?” Willow said. “I need a mother, too.”

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